UNODC supports the implementation of a Joint Port Control Unit in Mali through its WCO-Container Control Programme (CCP)
Throughout the last decades, West African routes have been - and still are - the target of intense activities related to transnational organized crime. To address these interlinked crimes, an international control strategy in maritime and dry ports is essential. Through its National Integrated Programme, the Malian government is implementing the battle against transnational organized crime.
In the context of the implementation of the WCO-Global Container Control Programme (CCP), UNODC organized a workshop in Bamako, Mali from 7-18 September 2015. This training represented the first step towards the implementation of the CCP, and provided to twenty participants from the Direction Générale Des Douanes (Customs), the Gendarmerie Nationale and the Police Nationale of Mali the opportunity to take advantage of targeting techniques used in the fight against illicit traffic of goods via containers.
Some of the trained officers will become part of the staff of the Joint Port Control Unit (JPCU) of the dry port of Bamako. The training was coordinated with the support of the National Integrated Programme (NIP) which fights against transnational organized crime and illicit trafficking of drugs in Mali. It represented the initial phase of the implementation of the CCP, which spreads out over several stages, ranging from theoretical training to tutoring missions. The training session was focused on risk analysis, profiling techniques and case studies, which enhanced the capacities of participants to better combat the use of containers by organized crime groups in Mali.
Mali, a landlocked country in West Africa, receives a considerable number of containers into its dry ports through the Dakar seaport, in Senegal. Thus, reinforcing Mali's law enforcement capacity is crucial to the ECOWAS region. The Sahel area has always been a commercial hub where firearms, consumer goods, and people flow freely due to weak state structures and long, porous borders. Addressing the participants at the end of the training, the coordinator of the National Integrated Programme assured that all necessary steps required will be taken in order to effectively implement the programme in Mali to help combat organized crime.
The Global Container Control Programme is a UNODC/WCO initiative, which was developed for the purpose of assisting governments in establishing sustainable enforcement structures in selected seaports to minimize the risk of maritime containers being exploited for trafficking of various illicit goods, such as drugs, precursor chemicals (for drugs and weapons), firearms, weapons of mass destruction, nuclear material, and other forms of organized crime activity. This particular workshop, which was the first step of a collaborative initiative between UNODC and Mali in the framework of the WCO-Container Control Programme, was made possible thanks to the financial support of Denmark.